Evaluating the Role of the Internet and Mainstream News Journalism in the Development of the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter evaluates the impact of the Internet and mainstream news media and journalism on the development of Northern Ireland’s Peace Process which began in the early 1990s and initially culminated in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which brought about the cessation of the period of sectarian violence known as the Troubles. Curtis (1992) and Miller and McLaughlin (1994) provided the most compelling critiques of the centrality of news media and journalism to public understandings of both the 30-year civil conflict of the Troubles and the development of peace. Sparre (2001), Dixon (2002), and Spencer (2006) noted that the Peace Process was also both choreographed and performed in the news media sphere. The Peace Process, is also contemporaneous with the development of the mass Internet, and the most recent stage of the process since the mid-2000s is directly concurrent to the emergence of Web 2.0. There have been noted attempts from the blogosphere and the mainstream media to foster shared-space online in Northern Ireland. However, in keeping with the belief that Internet users are likely to congregate in online spaces that reflected their own political and social backgrounds (Sunstein, 2009), members of religiously divided communities in Northern Ireland have largely congregated in sectarianized spaces that have triumphed over the utopian belief in technology as a force for social transformation. This chapter questions the extent to which the promise of the digital commons as a force for bringing people together was realised and will do so by setting the contemporary history of Northern Ireland within the wider context of the development of news and journalism in age of the Internet and the decline of mass print circulations. New technology platforms have extended the opportunity and potential for journalism to address the Peace Process and perhaps offer a dialogical space in which to critique its direction. However, the sectarian fissures in Northern Irish life have proved to be more deeply situated and in the period under examination, neither traditional news outlets nor new social media technologies have universally brought people together from ethno-religiously divided groups.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Technology and Journalism: An International Comparative Perspective
EditorsPaddy Hoey, Tong Jingrong, Lo Shih-Hung
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages141-164
Number of pages384
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-55025-1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2017

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peace process
journalism
news
Internet
contemporary history
social background
social media
new technology
peace
violence
examination
community
Group

Keywords

  • Northern Ireland
  • Peace Process
  • journalism
  • citizen media
  • social media

Cite this

Hoey, P. (2017). Evaluating the Role of the Internet and Mainstream News Journalism in the Development of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. In P. Hoey, T. Jingrong, & L. Shih-Hung (Eds.), Digital Technology and Journalism: An International Comparative Perspective (pp. 141-164). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hoey, Paddy. / Evaluating the Role of the Internet and Mainstream News Journalism in the Development of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Digital Technology and Journalism: An International Comparative Perspective. editor / Paddy Hoey ; Tong Jingrong ; Lo Shih-Hung. London : Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. pp. 141-164
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Hoey, P 2017, Evaluating the Role of the Internet and Mainstream News Journalism in the Development of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. in P Hoey, T Jingrong & L Shih-Hung (eds), Digital Technology and Journalism: An International Comparative Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 141-164.

Evaluating the Role of the Internet and Mainstream News Journalism in the Development of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. / Hoey, Paddy.

Digital Technology and Journalism: An International Comparative Perspective. ed. / Paddy Hoey; Tong Jingrong; Lo Shih-Hung. London : Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. p. 141-164.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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AB - This chapter evaluates the impact of the Internet and mainstream news media and journalism on the development of Northern Ireland’s Peace Process which began in the early 1990s and initially culminated in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which brought about the cessation of the period of sectarian violence known as the Troubles. Curtis (1992) and Miller and McLaughlin (1994) provided the most compelling critiques of the centrality of news media and journalism to public understandings of both the 30-year civil conflict of the Troubles and the development of peace. Sparre (2001), Dixon (2002), and Spencer (2006) noted that the Peace Process was also both choreographed and performed in the news media sphere. The Peace Process, is also contemporaneous with the development of the mass Internet, and the most recent stage of the process since the mid-2000s is directly concurrent to the emergence of Web 2.0. There have been noted attempts from the blogosphere and the mainstream media to foster shared-space online in Northern Ireland. However, in keeping with the belief that Internet users are likely to congregate in online spaces that reflected their own political and social backgrounds (Sunstein, 2009), members of religiously divided communities in Northern Ireland have largely congregated in sectarianized spaces that have triumphed over the utopian belief in technology as a force for social transformation. This chapter questions the extent to which the promise of the digital commons as a force for bringing people together was realised and will do so by setting the contemporary history of Northern Ireland within the wider context of the development of news and journalism in age of the Internet and the decline of mass print circulations. New technology platforms have extended the opportunity and potential for journalism to address the Peace Process and perhaps offer a dialogical space in which to critique its direction. However, the sectarian fissures in Northern Irish life have proved to be more deeply situated and in the period under examination, neither traditional news outlets nor new social media technologies have universally brought people together from ethno-religiously divided groups.

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Hoey P. Evaluating the Role of the Internet and Mainstream News Journalism in the Development of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. In Hoey P, Jingrong T, Shih-Hung L, editors, Digital Technology and Journalism: An International Comparative Perspective. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 2017. p. 141-164